Saturday 25 November 2017

We'll all pay the price for locking prisoners in hell

The smell of sewage permeates almost every cell. This is one of the more pungent observations in a report about conditions in Limerick Prison, published last week by the inspector of prisons, Judge Michael Reilly.

Unpleasant though it is, the thought is unlikely to keep many of us awake at night: after all, what are prisons for, if not the containment of human filth?

Judge Reilly's depiction of Limerick Prison is undoubtedly damning but hardly all that shocking. There is a dreary familiarity to his depiction of the institution as an unsanitary, overcrowded and decrepit hellhole, wherein intimidation by some prison officers is rife.

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